down time…

i must be out of touch with a lot of things… my evenings are precious and full.  As i continue to battle the weight (down 35 pounds, a pesky 15 pounds to go…), exercise is at the top of the list. 

My job doesn’t afford a psychologically healthy opportunity for lunch-hour workout*, and any attempt to exercise in the morning is met with a violent uprising from my own body.  To the point where my brain has been told in no uncertain terms by parts of my body — “if you put on the running shoes, the bitch gets it!”

That leaves the short window of time after work.  i try to get in an hour or two of cardio.  Since i despise going to gyms, i prefer this to be outside, which is increasingly difficult as autumn settles in…  Often i will later work with weights or do pushups and crunches at home until i can’t move. 

i build my weeknight evenings around this routine.

From the time i get home (5:00 pm-5:30 pm) until the time i go to bed (midnight), i’m generally doing something… Once the exercise is covered, i’m paying bills, reading my favorite blogs, hoarking up the contents of my brain onto the ‘trailer park’, meeting up with friends for my Tuesday night pubbery, running errands before stores close, working on projects around the house…

Life maintenance and decompression.

What’s missing?  Apparently television… This seems to be what a lot of people do in the evening.  Scanning the facebook status listings after my workout tonight, i noticed a frightening number of references to “Thursday night television”.  Apparently?  It’s the best…  Gray’s Anatomy, The Office, Survivor…  Huh?  Can’t you catch The Office on reruns?  Don’t the other two suck?

Last week, i had a down night, completely to myself.  The Girl had a movie in the BluRay thingie and suggested that it might be worth my time to spend 90 minutes watching Coraline.  Curling up on the couch with the big brown smelly dog-like-object, i watched an entire movie.

Loved it.  Want to watch it in 3D.  Henry Selick, who directed “Nightmare Before Christmas”, put together a darkly comic and stunningly gorgeous flick about the evil underbelly of greener grass.  Unfortunately it sort of degraded into a video game somewhere in the middle, but it was still a beautiful film. 

When i moved into the Barbie Dream Condo last year, i had the home theater/digital audio system installed before i even had furniture in the living room.  Just over a year later, this was one of the first times i’ve actually put that big damn wall-mounted HDTV to use…. 

i may never get the television thing completely, but i think there are some movies to be watched this winter… methinks i’m in some need of a little more downtime… Suggestions welcomed!


* There is a fitness facility on-site.  During lunch hour it is infested with young hardbodied idiots, who piss me off for being alive.  i used to play basketball there, but am no longer competitive with the aggressive, tattooed pituitary cases that dribble full-court during the precious lunch hour.   Fuck ’em….

20 thoughts on “down time…

  1. Like you, evening is the only time that seems to work for me and exercise. Unfortunately, my evenings of late have been mostly occupied with wine and the aforementioned TV. I’m going to have to straighten up and get back in the program. As for movies, we just watched “Finding Neverland” and thought it was awesome. Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet, Dustin Hoffman… what’s not to like? Also, “Wilder Napalm” and “Love Serenade” if you can find them. Trust me.

  2. i’ll throw out some foreign films that i absolutely love (take ’em or leave ’em, i know they’re not for everyone!)
    – pan’s labyrinth
    – antonia’s line
    – the city of lost children

    and then there’s, what has to be, one of my favourite movies ever – burn after reading. although generally you have to watch it a second time to actually find it funny.

  3. Yes, television. Uh, what is that again?

    I know what you mean. We got satellite TV (finally) in late ’02 early ’03 (something like that) and we became regular viewers of HGTV, TLC, all the CSI’s and Jon Stewart.

    It got so bad that I ate breakfast in front of the TV every day watch the news and many meals were taken there in the evening as well. I suppose it was a bit of an empty nest thing.

    In the weeks and months after my first wife died in ’06 I found my attention span just wasn’t up to following an hour long TV show. I watched a few movies but even that didn’t really hold my attention.

    Getting high speed internet was pretty much the final straw for my TV watching. The satellite receiver started getting flaky a few months ago. I called for service and the tech putzed around on the dish for a few minutes and pronounced it fixed. It wasn’t and I just pulled the plug on it.

    The only TV I see now, aside from videos, are the short clips I stream over the internet.

    I don’t miss it. I don’t know how I used to accomplish much of anything because there’s still not enough hours in the day.

  4. Completely agree that TV is a vast wasteland. The only network show I watch with any regularity is Big Bang Theory Monday nights at 9:30. I bet you would find it a total hoot as well.

    As for movie suggestions, I prefer the classics. Who today makes films that rival Hitchcock?

    North by Northwest is one of my all time favorites.

    When was the last time you watched Helen Keller (staring Ann Bancroft and Patty Duke as Helen)?

    There is always “To Kill a Mocking Bird” with none other than Robert Duvall as the troubled neighbor.

    If you want action, there is always Sean Connery (and others) in The Hunt for Red October.

    If just plain silly stuff is what you are craving, how about “The Muppet Movie”. Dom Delouise tells Kermit he has to get out of the swamp because he has to catch a plane. kermit replies: “With that tongue, no way”.

    Ok, crawling back into my cave back in the woods now.


  5. Check out a movie called Primer. Made for less than my yearly salary by a couple of engineers about time travel. You’ll be confused for days.

    Also try the CSA: Confederate States of America. A fake documentary TV broadcast of the history of America after the South wins the Civil War.

    Or if you want to go crazy, there’s The Machine Girl. Japanese schoolgirl with a machine gun arm kills ninjas and gangsters.

  6. may I recommend a perverse British TV comedy: League of Gentlemen. Not to be confused with the Hollywood movie League of Extraordinary Gentleman. I have a feeling that you and/or your readers may appreciate the dark and bizarre Python-on-‘shrooms BBC series.

  7. Holy Christ, I was all for the giving up of watching anything other than the fitba on the television until late.
    I’ve now discovered a thing called ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’. As intellect goes, I’ll not stimulate any further cell growth from its content. But the laughing generated from its cast does wonders for my oul heart.

    Keep you mind fit, the body will follow long term.

  8. I recommend Sunshine Cleaning if you haven’t already seen it. And a great little Australian film called Suburban Mayhem.

    And anything renalfailure recommends HAS to be good!

  9. Oh, where to begin?!? Winter is movie time! Some of my favourites include ‘Dr. Zhivago’, ‘Amelie’, ‘Il Postino’, ‘Scarface’, ‘Cider House Rules’ just to name a few. I’m sure I’ll think of 20 more as soon as I hit “submit” …

  10. I have the same problem! Between working for a bunch of slave drivers, trying to see my two daughters and wife and keep up with stuff in the city, I have NO TIME for TV. I’ve never seen The Office. Or The Simpsons for that matter! I don’t like telling people because it makes me look like a snob. As though I were looking down on TV, which is not the case. I just don’t have the time.

    Actually, Mrs. Wife and I make a point to watch the new HBO series Bored to Death. I like it very, very much. But that’s about it.

  11. darling, you and me and mrs bb are in the same universe… we have not watched tv for ages, i rarely get a chance to trawl the 20 online newpapers/journals/websites i should be dashboarding daily, let alone sitting down with a proper old fasioned paper… however HBO / BBC / Granada box sets have changed our lives… expecially over dinner and into the evening… light and fluffy, but some times gripping decompression…

    P.S. we need to focus your Oslo trip on either research or commerce… drop me a note so I can either enrich you and your company with knowledge or capital!!!!


  12. chris – with winter coming, i’m trying to find new ways to get in the workout. added a wednesday night salsa dance session, but damn the beer and nachos… i saw “neverland” a few years back, but will put my daughter in search of the other two…

    little fish – The Girl (my resident film afficionado) has been bugging me about Pan’s Labyrinth. That’s probably a ‘purchase on bluray’ kinda flick…

    rob – my biggest time sink is the internet, but i’m down to perhaps 2-3 hours a day (one in the morning and a couple in the evening). i think it’s high, but it’s also how i decompress through the day, so maybe it’s no better than tv, just more interactive?

    TAG – have never seen ‘big bang’, but you’re not the first person to recommend it to me. love your list of classics! especially The Muppet Movie. one of my all time favorites… “Bear left…” “Frog, right!”

    renalfailure – will get the girl looking for primer and csa (i think my son would like that one as well). saw the clip you posted from machine girl and suspect the blood and gore would rattle me… yeah, even really obviously fake blood and gore doesn’t sit well with me. there’s a reason i’m an engineer and not a doctor…

    jenuine – that’s one to check out! love python, love (ahem) shroom-inspired thinking…. good combination.

    jimmy – haven’t actually seen ‘raymond’, but might be more inclined to if it makes you laugh… i am battling genetics, and have to keep active, and push my body hard, or i will balloon. even after 3 years of chemotherapy, my dad was 280 pounds. we are not people who waste away….

    nursemyra – will add your flicks to my winter film list! this could be fun…

    tNb – have seen Amelie and Cider House (loved them). Zhivago makes me cry (yeah, i’m a big wuss under this crusty exterior). Will look for il postino… have read about that one…

    unbearable banishment – right! i don’t want to seem arrogant about it, but it’s really about time and how i prefer to spend it. it might actually do me some good to slow down a bit, vegetate a bit… i’m devoting this phase of my life to fucking off, and this may be a key part of it!

    Bb – watching series on DVD is nice… although my daughter informed me last night that we have a DVR system in the house, which allows me to record anything i want to record and watch later. and i don’t know how to use it… the Oslo trip? research/science. will try to explain by e-mail, but it’s a long shot that i could pull together a business trip…

  13. i don’t watch much telly unless it involves a futbol/soccer ball or a hockey puck or a horse race that i have money on, i loathe movies as predictable and intellectually vacant, Where the Wild Things Are in my opinion was a disaster, better to read the book, all 12 lines of it, tells you more than 94 minutes of image and music, not that the mediums themselves are worthless they are just pandered to the lowest common denominator, i don’t miss television at all, i prefer to read books and take walks or play cars with Kid A or listen to music or type long winded responses on people’s blogs, in a nutshell telly and movies are horseshit.

  14. Loved Coraline. My daughter is a big fan of Gaiman, so we rushed to this one when it came out and saw it in 3D. It was the first movie I’d seen in 3D in YEARS, and my jaw hit that sticky stadium floor several times.

    Glad you liked it . . .

  15. Yes, Big Bang Theory is great! Also, Cougartown, Modern Family, 30 Rock…and The Biggest Loser is actually quite inspiring. Also, some Bukowski movies would be fun to curl up on the couch and watch…;)

  16. Oh, what a can you opened up for me. =D

    I am a movie fanatic. The movies I have watched recently and really enjoyed are as follows:

    Sunshine cleaning. Quirky
    Michael Clayton – (George Clooney)
    Management – (Jennifer Anisten) Very quirky
    7 Pounds – (Will Smith) to really enjoy, do not read any reviews, just watch
    The Bucket List – (Morgan Freeman & Jack Nicholson)
    Julie & Julia – (Meryl Streep)
    Gran Torino – (Clint Eastwood)
    August Rush

    Ok, that should get you started…

    thanks for you blog, you keep me entertained.

  17. kono – i used to watch sports, but found myself napping a lot. it’s all about what holds your interest, i suppose… somewhere along the line, i’ve also lost the ability to read for pleasure. used to always have books around, but since i stopped traveling as much for work, my reading has diminished. that’s another one to add to my list of things to do again…

    tysdaddy – we’re going to buy a copy of Coraline, and i need to score some 3D glasses. it was so pretty – even without the 3D effects – i just wanted to touch everything in the movie, except the spider stuff, of course!

    dave – it gets harder to lose the last bit. there’s a math issue involved, but it really does drop asymptotically… basically, the more weight you need to lose, the easier it comes off… ugh… for 5 pounds? i’d shave off my hair, toenails/fingernails and clean my ears. and that’d probably help…

    lonely bull – yes, bukowski would be fun! doubt i could watch anything called ‘cougartown’, though… the cringe factor would be waaaay too high for me!

    luvn2lose – welcome to the park! thanks fro dropping off a good list — Gran Torino and Michael Clayton are two that i was already thinking about, but i like the quirky weird stuff, so i’ll look for some of the others! glad to entertain you!

  18. I, on the other hand, have been watching too much “TV”, even if it is on the internet on Hulu. I usually read, but between needing new glasses and not being able to knit and read (I’m still very much a baby knitter), I’ve gone the TV route. But this week I must clean house and stick my nose in books and get them back to the library. Still haven’t installed my HDTV card in the computer, everything I want to see is online on Hulu or CBS.

  19. silverstar – there’s a time and place for it, i think. had a helluva headcold, and have been channel surfing a little more than usual. 800 freakin’ channels and nothing is on… i’m going for the movies, i think… and back to books…

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